On Tuesday morning, the New York Islanders officially welcomed Lou Lamoriello as the team’s new president of hockey operations and made it clear that he will have full authority over all hockey matters.
Effective immediately, Lou Lamoriello will now assume the role of president of hockey operations for the New York Islanders with full control over all aspects of the team. For the Islanders and their fans, this comes at just the right time.
Lamoriello is a man who needs no introduction, and if your memory is hazy on what the 30-plus year NHL vet has done then you should definitely remind yourself.
Coming fresh off his three-year tenure as GM in the revitalization of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Lamoriello is set for what is likely the 75-year-old’s last job in the NHL. Those concerned that Lamoriello may be past his prime have no reason to be. Lou’s Leafs just finished their 2017-18 season with a 49-26-7 record and 105 points — their best regular season ever.
In regards to the current regime, Lamoriello offered “no pre-conceived notions” when asked what the collective fates will be for both GM Garth Snow and head coach Doug Weight, according to Andrew Gross.
Prior to the Isles media day, both Snow and Weight were told they should expect to remain employed, though now it’s unclear what their specific roles will be in the organization.
For many fans, this move was 12 years in the making, but the real sweetener in having Lamoriello onboard is the explicit mention in the Isles official statement: “He will have full authority over all hockey matters with the organization.”
Critics of Snow and his regime should be more than satisfied. Along with a winning pedigree, Lamoriello brings something the Islanders have long lacked in heaping loads — accountability.
“We’ve got some work to do. I hope the fans have some patience. It will not happen overnight. The ownership has given total commitment to whatever necessary to have success.”
— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) May 22, 2018
The cleanup of the New York Islanders begins today, and clearly, Lamoriello understands the task ahead of him starting with keeping John Tavares on Long Island. Lamoriello’s hiring has already improved Tavares’ chances at staying according to Darren Dreger on TSN Radio, who said that the Isles now have a far better chance at keeping the pending UFA.
In fact, Lamoriello has already reached out to Tavares prior to today’s announcement.
A bit more info on Lamoriello/Tavares: sounds like they met face-to-face last Wednesday in New York. Told it was “introductory” as they had not talked before, now NYI have window to pitch. https://t.co/cA2r4WtpBD
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) May 22, 2018
It should also be noted that Mark Hunter’s time with the Toronto Maple Leafs is at an end today as well. Whether he follows Lou to the Island is speculative, but it should be noted that if he were to join the Isles it would have to be until both this year’s NHL Draft and the free-agent signing period in July.
With the wheels in motion, it’s now up to Lou and Lou alone to figure out where the rest of the moving parts fit into his master plan to fix the New York Islanders.
For the first time this offseason, and for the first time in 12 years, fans can go to sleep tonight feeling optimistic about the future.
In Lou we trust.